Whether you’re just heading off to college, in the thick of midterms, or having your graduation date set on the horizon, there’s always one looming question that follows: What to do with your degree? Those in the business, accounting, entrepreneurial, and math fields might have given the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) career some consideration—and with good reason. If you establish a solid clientele base, you can make a lucrative income, making those occasional long hours well-worth your time.
From time to time, people are searching “Certified Public Accountant near me” in google is rising now a days!
However, there are a few tidbits of information every potential CPA should know, including everything ranging between the title’s requirements to the job’s expected duties. If you’re not sure whether this is the post-college career for you, this Q & A can help.
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Are Certified Public Accountant’s and accountants the same thing?
Yes and no; all certified public accountants are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs (sort of like that square/rectangle analogy). To receive your CPA certification, you’ll need more education and experience, in addition to passing a Uniform CPA Exam. Right now, tacking on extra classes, internships, and exams to your current college load probably sounds like a small form of torture, but with the added challenge and distinction, you’ll reap the benefits of increased trust, opportunity, and financial reward.
Note: CPAs and accountants are also different from a tax advocate or attorney, which professions also have different certification requirements.
What do Certified Public Accountants do?
Accounting is in the name of title, so that aspect of the job should come at little surprise. However, you might be surprised to learn that CPAs do much more than filing income tax returns come April. They work for accounting firms both large and small, from Fortune 500 companies to local neighborhood businesses. They act as financial advisors and trusted decision-makers, consulting on a number of issues.
You can work as CPA for a company in order to help them achieve their goal of opening a new office, or you can offer your services to a private individual who would like savings advice in order to become a first-time homeowner.
To become certified public accountant eligibility there is need of certification once you complete the exam from authorities.
There are so many industries you can venture into as a CPA. Use the title as stepping stone to hopscotch your way up to a Chief Financial Advisor or Chief Executive Officer. Offer tax tips for Millennial to get them out of college debt faster, help a rock star manage their money and stay out of debt, or consult with the FBI for investigations into criminal fraud. The options are pretty limitless.
What are the obligations of a CPA?
For starters, you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve on all tax reform news—which after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, gives you a lot to keep up with. You’ll have to know about the 20% deduction for qualified business income, new tax breaks for homeowners, and how W-4 holdings might change based on income bracket.
Participate in live webinars, stay up-to-date on your training, and don’t let any little details slide through the cracks. If you’re not on you’re A-Game, you could cost your clients an audit, which is not a fun process for you or them.
Also associated with a CPA license is an extremely high ethical integrity. Whether you work in public accounting, corporate accounting, government, education, or not-for-profit, you’ll always be expected to advocate on the best interest of your clients—not in favor of your own selfish interest.
You’ll need to provide sound, unbiased advice on all financial matters (with the numbers to back it up). When million-dollar mergers and acquisitions are on the line, saying that a CPA job can be “stressful” is a gross understatement. A lot of money is often on the line, and while your advice might be rooted in numbers and facts, there’ll come a point where your subjective opinion comes into play—which is when expert experience will set you apart from the other CPAs in your industry.
In the end, pursuing a CPA career could be in your interest if analyzing numbers and tax codes are your types of thing. It’ll take additional schooling, but with advanced education comes higher pay grades. You can keep your CPA job comfortable or you can make it competitive and climb the latter. The choice is yours, and your money is there for the taking.